Thursday, 12 July 2018
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Traffic Legislation
616. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the legal provisions that regulate the purchase, ownership and use of scrambler and quad bikes; his plans to legislate to provide for a minimum age of ownership, registration and effective deterrents for when they are used in non-legal situations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31666/18]
Scrambler motorbikes and quadricycle bikes are mechanically propelled vehicles, which means that they are vehicles intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical power. As such, irrespective of engine capacity, under road traffic legislation the user of a scrambler or quad bike in a public place must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence, and must also wear a helmet, with severe penalties under the road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements.
For the purposes of the Road Traffic Acts, a "public place" means any public road, and any street, road or other place to which the public have access with vehicles whether as of right or by permission, and whether subject to or free of charge.
Road traffic legislation does NOT extend to private property, or to public parks, which are under the control of local authorities and subject to their bye-laws.
If a quad bike or scrambler is used in a public place, it is subject to the same comprehensive range of road traffic legislation as any other mechanically propelled vehicle, with enforcement being a matter for an Garda Síochána. Local authorities have the power to introduce bye-laws to prohibit the use of vehicles within their areas, such as public parks.
It is an offence to sell, loan or gift a mechanically propelled vehicle to a minor aged under 16.
A working group was recently set up by the Department of Justice and Equality to look at a cross-agency approach to tackling the illegal use of quad bikes and scramblers, and I understand that they will be looking at areas such as the bye-laws currently in place to allow local authorities to deal with the use of such vehicles on lands under their control and looking at effective enforcement methods. Officials from my Department attend this group, but no deficiencies have been identified in road traffic legislation regarding the use of such vehicles in a public place. Their use in any other areas is beyond the remit of my Department.